2021 NBA All-Star Game, Dunk, 3-Point Contests to Be Held March 7 in Atlanta

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 18, 2021

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers dunks during the second half of the NBA All-Star basketball game Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Huh)
Nam Huh/Associated Press

The NBA confirmed Thursday the 2021 All-Star Game will be on March 7 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta.

The Skills Challenge and Three-Point Contest will come before the All-Star Game tips off. The Slam Dunk Contest will occur at halftime.

"As part of this year's events, the NBA and National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) announced that they will commit more than $2.5 million in funds and resources toward Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and support and awareness around equity and access to COVID-19 care, relief and vaccines," the NBA said.

The player draft is returning as the top vote-getters in each conference will select his squad. The Final Target Score is back, too, after having received acclaim in 2020:


NBA All-Star Game Format: The game will follow the same format as last year, with the teams competing to win each quarter and playing to a Final Target Score during the untimed fourth quarter. https://t.co/jk8pxZqyZI

Many believed the Final Target Score helped create a competitive, dramatic fourth quarter as Team LeBron edged out Team Giannis.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Feb. 4 the NBA and NBPA were nearing an agreement on the details for this year's All-Star weekend. However, Wojnarowski added the plan "has been met with resistance and skepticism from players and from team executives."

Some prominent players expressed their frustration with staging the game:

Dave McMenamin @mcten

LeBron: “I have zero energy and zero excitement about an All-Star game this season.” He said he was looking to a five-day break in March after the shortened offseason and believes it is not a wise decision during the pandemic, either. “I’ll be there physically but not mentally”

Nets Videos @SNYNets

James Harden gives his thoughts on the NBA having an All-Star Game this season: https://t.co/201TvWlvbu

Jason Jones @mr_jasonjones

And I agree. Recognize the players who are All-Stars like the NFL did with the Pro Bowl

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms also called the 2021 All-Star Game a "made-for-TV event only" and cautioned fans against traveling to the city:

Chenue Her @ChenueHer

JUST IN: Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms shares her concerns about the city hosting the NBA All-Star game. She says people should *not* travel to ATL. “...we strongly encourage promoters, clubs, bars, etc. not to host events in the city related to this game.” @11AliveNews https://t.co/kCAPTfXcch

The NBA said Thursday it's setting up a "mini bubble" and will arrange for private travel to and from Atlanta for the players taking part.

The Athletic's Sam Amick reported earlier this month the league was tentatively planning to have players and coaches arrive on the day of the All-Star festivities. They would leave the following day.